Now every fifth year in the land of Erinn games, between the provinces of Meath and Connacht, were held.
One year, a contestant known as Mac Duff brought with him to those games, his two fine sons.
Both mighty champions in their own right were they with each a troop of men.
One of the twain, Rinn by name, placed himself under the protection of Mider of Bray Lethe; speckled horses for his troop, and green cloaks with silver brooches, and shoes with clasps of red bronze, and on everyone of them a collar of gold with a gem worth a newly calved cow set in it.
The other brother, Faber, placed himself under arms for Buan of Connor Hill; black horses with bridle bits of gold for his troop, and grey-blue cloaks with a gold brooch at the breast of each, and a white tunic with crimson stripes, and a coil of bright gold round every man’s neck.
Mider asked could any man be found to fight his champion, Rinn.
“I will go against him,” said Faber.
“Bad news that,” said Rinn, “our meeting will bring only war-cries and battle corpses.”
They fought then, gashing each others side for three days and three nights until their lungs became visible.
Then the hosts rose up one against the other and a battle was fought between them.
When the hosts were parted Rinn and Faber re-assumed their true shape as the two hog-guards, Bristle and Grunt.
“From our last out to this day,” said Grunt, “a right royal wrath, a bandit’s stab, as Edge and Point.”
“And now the Middle has seen what we can do in the fight,” said Bristle.
“But what now for you two?” said the Meath men.
“We must take on fresh shapes that each may further test his comrade’s might,” said Grunt.
They flew up into the air then in the shape of two ghouls, called Shadow and Shade, and in this form they spent two years terrorising the lands of Meath and Connacht so that a third of the folk of those two provinces were frightened half to death.
After that time they fell from the sky in the shape of two maggots, called Gobble and Gulp.
Gobble fell into the well of Uran Gared in Connacht, while Gulp fell into the well of Glaise Cronn in Ulster…